Countryside access

Public rights of way are paths that allow the public to pass over private land. Whilst the public has the right to use these paths, they also have the responsibility to respect the countryside and landowners' interests. For this reason the public are asked to follow the Countryside Code.

The record of public rights of way, known as The Definitive Map Statement, is maintained and updated by Hertfordshire County Council. Copies are sent to all local authorities, including parish councils, and are available for public viewing. Pavements, towpaths and most housing access paths are not usually recorded as public rights of way.

Application forms to change the Definitive Map and Statement, including claims and diversions, can be obtained from Hertfordshire County Council's website.


Footpaths are indicated by a yellow arrow and pedestrians, accompanied by dogs and pushchairs, may use public footpaths. Disability vehicles are also classed as pedestrian.

Any other form of access, such as cycling, is trespass, unless consent has been given by the landowner.


Bridleways are indicated by a blue arrow and pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders may use them. Cyclists are legally obliged to "give way" to horses and pedestrians.

Horse-drawn vehicles and motorised vehicles are not permitted on bridleways unless consent has been given by the landowner.

Restricted byways

Restricted byways are indicated by a purple arrow, and they carry footpath and bridleway rights. They may also be used by horse-drawn carriage vehicles. Motor vehicles and motor bikes are not permitted.

BOATs (Byway open to all traffic) 

BOATs are indicated by a red arrow and pedestrians, horses (including carriages), cyclists and motorised vehicles are permitted to use BOATs. However, in order to protect the environment, Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) barring vehicular use are in place on many BOATs.

All drivers using BOATs must be fully licensed, insured, taxed and have a valid MOT.

Maintenance of public rights of way

We are responsible for the maintenance of all recorded public rights of way in Dacorum except for surfaced tarmac, urban paths, which are maintained by Hertfordshire Highways.

More information

For further information on what to expect from the rights of way network, please view Hertfordshire County Council's Rights of Way service.

For more details about countryside access and rights of way, call Clayton Rae, Countryside Access Officer, on 01442 228356 or email

Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2018 at 10:59 AM